Zecco is a no-frills online broker. They charge a flat $4.50 per trade regardless of number of shares. But if you make more than 25 trades in a month or your account is worth $25,000, you instantly get 10 free trades.
Ease of setting up account: 7
When I signed up in 2007 I had to fill out an application online and then print it and mail it in. It took almost two weeks to get my account set up. I believe this process has now been streamlined. Check their website for the new procedure.
Transfer money into account: 8
I normally do a wire transfer, since my bank doesn't charge me for it. The money is available for trading the day after it gets to them. You can do an ACH, or mail a check. I'm giving it only an 8 because their "Funds Transfers" section sucks.
Transfer money out of account: 10
Easy as pie. I do it by ACH and the money is in my bank account the next day.
Trading Listed Stocks: 10
Trading of penny stocks: 10
Never a problem or restriction on any stock, and I only trade pennies - PinkSheets, OTC-BB. Never have to call to place a trade.
Research tools: 7
Trading tools: 6
What trading tools? LOL. You can only get streaming real-time quotes for an extra fee - they use QuoteMedia and the price of the different "packages" is very reasonable. Otherwise you'll need to keep refreshing the screen.
Customer service wait time: 9
I've both emailed and called. They also have an online chat-type system.
Customer service: 9
My experience has been very good. But if for some reason the person who answers the phone cannot answer your question or solve your problem, just ask for a supervisor
Customer service hours: 7
By phone Mon.-Fri. from 9am-6pm EDT, Not so convenient for those of us on the West coast. No weekends. By email 24/7
I will add that their execution is very fast. And I have often gotten a better price than what I set my buy/sell limit order to. Gotta love that!
Now if they would only re-do that darn "Funds Transfer" section...
Yes, they have a "Refer a Friend" program, so if you're interested in signing up with Zecco, please please pretty please, let me know so that I can refer you and earn some more free trades.
Hope this was helpful.